Dealing With Shoulder Blade Pain

Shoulder blade pain or the scapular pain in most cases is a cause of any problem that lies in the neck area. Generally if the defect lies in the lower neck or the upper back area, the pain is felt in the shoulder blade area. This occurs as the nerves pathways that supply these areas are the same.

Very rarely it is seen that pain in the shoulder blade area is present as a result of the defect in the shoulder blade or the scapular region itself. It is very essential in correctly diagnosing the cause of the shoulder blade pain.

Some of the shoulder blade pain causes are given below:

-pain which is due to the rotator cuff is one of the main reasons for the shoulder blade pain. The rotator cuff is formed by 4 muscles and their tendons. Pain which is felt is generally due to the inflammation of the tendons. The condition is known as rotator cuff tendonitis. The rotator cuff tendonitis accounts for pain in about 30% of all the shoulder blade pain cases.

-the pain in the shoulder blade region is also present due to the bursa. The bursa is a fluid filled sac which lies in between the rotator cuff and the bone which lies adjacent to it. Sometimes there is inflammation of this bursa, which causes pain in the shoulder blade area. This bursa helps in the various gliding movements which take place in the joint area.

-acute pain in the shoulder blade area can also occur due to any kind of trauma, such as falling on the shoulder area or lifting a heavy object.

-calcific tendonitis is another condition which is responsible for the pain which is felt in the shoulder area. In this condition calcium starts to deposit on the tendons of the rotary cuff. When this occurs, the movement in the shoulder area gets restricted and the condition is accompanied with intense pain. There are various signs such as redness in the shoulder area and the shoulder area is warm to touch.

-frozen shoulder is a condition in which there is inflammation in the joint area. This condition also is responsible for shoulder blade pain along with restricted mobility of the joint.

The shoulder blade pain can be easily diagnosed when pain is felt when the arms are moved in an arc like fashion away from the body. This kind of movement is known as abduction. The pain which is felt is due to the defect which lies in the bursa or the rotator cuff.

The pain which is felt is usually persistent in nature. If this condition remains untreated, it can result in tear in the rotator cuff and also causes degeneration of the soft tissues.


Individuals who suffer from a tear in the rotator cuff generally show a history of pain in the shoulder area.

The tear which takes place in the rotator cuff is a gradual process. There may be signs of arm weakness, trouble in abduction of the arm and pain during the night. Eventually pain is associated with limitation of the arm movement.

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